Monday, 28 May 2012

016 Buddha Machines (Refill)

The original Buddha Machine is a lo-fi hardware loop player created by FM3 (available in 7 funky colours):

I first came across the Buddha Machine when I downloaded the LAS-9 app for my Android phone:

A very simple app comprising looped samples lifted from the Buddha Machine 2.0 or 3.0 (samples were downloadable from links within the app) triggered by clicking on any of the 9 cryptic symbols to create a multi-tracked ambient track (the hardware buddha machine was monophonic I believe). Some basic sample properties such as pitch and panning are editable within the app. As the samples in LAS-9 vary in length the sound morphs in time and never fails to tire and shortly after I started this blog I had an idea to create a Buddha Machine Refill.

Contained within the Refill are the following:
  • Buddha Machine samples (1.0, 2.0 & 3.0 (Chan Fang) in .WAV format obtained from here, converted using Bias Peak Pro where only mp3 files were provided)
  • 3 NN-XT patches
  • 3 RNS Song Files containing Buddha Machine Combinator Combinations where the individual loops can be triggered from the Combinator buttons (just make sure the run pattern devices button is selected)
For more details I suggest you download and start experimenting!
The Refill:

Buddha Machines.rfl

The Buddha Machine Combinator Combination Skins (example):

Monday, 21 May 2012

015 Wave Sequence [RUN] (Combinator)

This patch was created in an attempt to match the mood of the backdrop, rather than the other way round. Layered synths recreate the crashing surf with a formant filtered sequence running in the background. Either play from a MIDI controller or by sequencing the Matrix and running the pattern devices from the front panel of the Combi.

The Combinator:

Wave Sequence [RUN].cmb

The Skin:

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

014 Ghostly Vox (Combinator)

I am jealous of all you Reason 6 folk working with real audio and fancy mixer with master buss compressor. When creating vocal tracks within Reason 4 I tend to use the NN-XT for my vocal samples running through this Combinator. I think it is based on a M Class factory patch but I can't recall which.

Sorry if you were expecting a reverb soaked patch for creating eerie vocals!

The Combinator:

Ghostly Vox.cmb

The Skin:

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

013 Warped Piano [RUN] (Combinator)

Starting with A Grand factory patch, I used a combination of LFO controlled filter and pan sweeps, reverse reverbs and chorus / phasers to create a warped piano.

The Combinator:

Warped Piano [RUN].cmb

The Skin:

012 Done! (Combinator)

I use this Combinator patch at the end of my audio signal chain and is the last chance to tweak my sound before I bounce a mix. With it I can visualize the audio hitting the audio outs, can tweak the EQ via a graphic equalizer and add some warmth to the sound. Thanks to Robbneu and his excellent Reason Patch a Day blog for providing the basis for the EQ / Visualizer using BV512 effects units (in his fourth post, way back in September 2008!). All I did was add a Scream patch and provide a custom backdrop.

In case you're wondering, button 4 simply gives visual feedback that your track is "Done!"

The Combinator:


The Skin:

011 Classic C64 (Refill)

There are great free sample resources out there and many thanks to the few who spend hours sampling, trimming and looping audio files for no financial gain. We salute you!

BPB have created a series of three Commodore 64 sample packs which I found myself cooing over lately, I used to love my old C64. The unique sounds on offer are a product of the SID chip found on the hardware running the Mono Synthesizer program. Please see the relevant pages on the BPB blog for more details. Here are the three pages containing the samples which also contain a brief description of their contents.

Commodore 64 Synthesizer Sessions Part 1
Commodore 64 Synthesizer Sessions Part 2
MSSIAH Drummer sample pack (for drums)

What has that got to do with Reason I hear you cry? The Sample Packs only contain the raw audio waves so I have mapped these to the Reason samplers (mainly NN-19s but one instance of NN-XT and a ReDrum). I have also created a couple of Combinators which may be of interest and packaged everything up in a Refill. These files reference a separate Refill containing all the samples which I am not distributing here for obvious reasons. All you need to do is download the files and create your own Refill yourself (like I have done). The file structure I have used is as follows which you need to follow so the patches look for the samples in the right place:

The Refill:

Classic C64 Patches.rfl

The Skin (courtesy of

Friday, 11 May 2012

010 microKORG Synthesizer LY-2 (Combinator)

I have just realised that the microKORG synth patch I posted a few days ago only had provisions for a single timbre. Although mono-timbral, the actual microKORG can play 2 timbres at one time so I have created an updated version of the Combinator - the LY-2. The only things common to both timbres is the Mod FX and delay. You'll be relieved to know that I have also updated the skin on the original microKORG patch accordingly so your LY-1 and LY2 devices are consistent in your rack!

The Combinator:

microKORG Synthesizer LY-2.cmb

The Skin:

009 Space Echo (Combinator)

I was looking at some Reason 6 videos and got rather depressed watching the new effects unit, The Echo. I wanted one! So I started to build a space echo Combinator patch based on the Roland RE-201 unit and while doing this I googled "space echo combinator" to see if I could find anything inspiring. What I found was a rather fantastic space echo patch built by Dubtrain, here is the link:

Dubtrain Space Echo Patch

I tweaked a couple of parameters and no more so I cannot claim any credit for this one whatsoever except for the backdrop which I created around the details on the new RE-20 effects pedal.

The Combinator:

Space Echo.cmb

The Skin:

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

008 microKORG Vocoders (Combinators)

As promised, here are microKORG vocoder Combinators using an NN-19 sampler (NN), a ReDrum (RD) and a Dr Rex (RX) as the modulator. I have also included a Combinator with no built in modulator (EX) to be used as an effect Combinator to route audio into. The Subtractor provides the carrier signal, remember to use only one oscillator! The front panel control basic carrier and FX functions, you'll have to go inside the Combinator to tweak band levels and so on.

Simply select a sample, rex file or ReDrum patch, run or play a sequence and have fun!

The Combinators:

microKORG Vocoder EX.cmb
microKORG Vocoder NN.cmb
microKORG Vocoder RD.cmb
microKORG Vocoder RX.cmb

The Skins:

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

007 microKORG Synthesizer LY-1 (Combinator)

Following on from the recent Micron patch, I thought I'd create something resembling a microKORG, at least in terms of the general architecture. The Subtractor, being a dual oscillator synth, provides the basic sounds and filters and is very similar in terms of a synth engine.

Watch out for my forthcoming microKORG vocoder Combinators!

The Combinator:

microKORG Synthesizer LY-1.cmb

The Skin

NOTE 1 - For more on the microKORG check out my Patch a Week blog.
NOTE 2 - I have updated this post to reflect the fact that this is the Single Layer version of the microKORG Combinator. For the dual timbre version see the LY-2 post.

Monday, 7 May 2012

006 Micron (Combinator)

In this Combinator patch I try to reproduce the Set-up architecture of the Alesis Micron virtual analog synth which I had up until 2010 and then parted company with. In fact, the little Micron was the subject of my first blog - Alesis Micron - Patch a Day and it's sale ended that particular blog. I still regret selling it from time to time as it's a great synth, although a little awkward to program.

A Set-up on the Micron comprises a performance patch, such as the lower octaves play a bassline, the middle octaves a pad and the upper octaves an arpeggiator (although the Set-up is flexible in terms of mapping, much like the Combinator). The Micron is a multi-timbral three oscillator synth of some power and therefore I should possibly have used Thor patches for the synths but to keep CPU levels down I have gone with the trusty Subtractor throughout. I have tried to stay true to the Micron when it comes to FX however with two separate FX units, FX1 for an insert effect and FX2 for a send effect.

The front panel rotaries and buttons are reserved for FX duties, if you want to tweak the synth parameters you'll have to dig under the hood a little. I ran out of buttons and was keen to include a front panel control for turning the Arp Hold on and off so I assigned this to the mod wheel.

The Combinator:


The Skin:

Sunday, 6 May 2012

005 Key Loch (Combinator)

With the exception of the mighty Thor, none of the synths in Reason 4 have in-built effects, which isn't a problem as we can add our own in the rack without a problem. One of the beauties of the Combinator however is the ability to add effects to basic synth / sampler patches and save in the one unit together with all the settings, a bit like when hardware synths started to add in-built effects in the early 80s.

This Combinator is a fairly straightforward Subtractor pad with a built in CF-101 Chorus / Flanger unit. I was tempted to complicate matters by layering patches but you know what, I think this sounds great.

The Combinator:

Key Loch.cmb

The Skin:

004 Guitarp [RUN] (Combinator)

This is an acoustic guitar arpeggiator using matrix sequencers (one for 6 strings, and one for the high strings on a 12 string guitar). I have only included the one 32 note sequence but you can go to town with the 32 available sequences at your disposal. Just remember to copy and paste into the other matrix, remembering to transpose an octave. The routings are fairly self-explanatory.

The Combinator:

Guitarp [RUN].cmb

The Skin:

Saturday, 5 May 2012

003 Nose Blow (Refill)

Found this on my hard drive when tinkering with the idea of starting this blog. Not meant to be serious in any way, it's me blowing my nose! The Combinator controls are fairly straightforward, Mod Wheel controls LFO amount.

The Refill:

Nose Blow.rfl

The Skin:

Friday, 4 May 2012

002 microKORG ADK (Refill)

In addition to this new blog, I have been working on another blog for my microKORG called Patch a Week. In it, I published a series of posts for an Analog Drum Kit I was making on that synth, to be sampled and used in some of my compositions.

At the end of the process I created a Combinator patch using the samples.

The original post:

ADK Samples / Reason Refill

The Refill:

The microKORG ADK.rfl

The Skin:

001 Omnichord (Refill)

My Omnichord Refill first made it's debut as a reader contribution on Robbneu's great Reason - Patch a Day blog.

Here's a brief description (extract from Robbneu's original post based on my original instructions):

The theory is you set the sequencer playing and a rex drumbeat sampled from the omnichord starts up. You can choose which rhythm program it plays by soloing channels in the drum mixer within the combi. There are three octaves of organ, octave one is C to B Major, octave 2 is C to B Minor and octave 3 is C to B 7th. You can turn the optional layered "sonic strings" on or off from the front of the combi. The rest of the keyboard above that is the lead sound from the omnichord.

I still can't get the muting of the organ/lead sounds at the start of every bar sorted out, no idea why it is doing that. Only workaround is to increase the release of the NNXT instruments to maximum but only issue then is because it is a looped sample it'll go on forever.

I think I know how to sort the muting issue and will tackle it once I find my original unpacked samples and patches.

The Refill:


The Skin:

ghostly's Reason

I love Propellerhead Reason (I'm still on Reason 4). I love the process of creating patches, creating Combinator backdrops (especially creating Combinator backdrops actually!). Wrapping everything up in neat Refill packages. It is all so very.... satisfying. That's the word. Satisfying.

And this is the blog where I am going to keep all my creations. I hope you enjoy.